Reasons As To Why My Car Stereo Won’t Turn On After Install

You have a car stereo that won’t turn on after install, and you are wondering what could be the problem. The first things to check are the head unit and car amplifier to confirm that they are properly installed. When the car stereo doesn’t turn on, it will be a headache for you, but maybe at the end, you will find out that, it was worth.

Most problems with electronics including car stereo are intermittent meaning that, at times, it could be impossible to find a solution to them. A car radio that doesn’t work might just be implying that you have to be ready for an expensive bill of overhauling or repairing it.

The good thing about a car head unit stereo that won’t work is likely to be sorted out if you tackle it with a methodical approach and chances are; you are likely to sort it by yourself.

Causes Of A Car Radio Which Suddenly Stops Working

There are several things which can cause your car radio not to work, but it could be hard to determine exactly what it could be without knowing some information like, it could be the fuse which has blown off in case the display is what is affected or, an antenna problem if the radio part is what is having problems while the CD part and the rest are working. Other problems and their solutions could include:

1. No Sound Coming From The Car Speakers

No Sound Coming From The Car Speakers

A scenario where your radio turns on but no sound is coming from the speakers, there are several situations that could trigger that. It could be an issue related to the amp if you have an external amp or the speaker wires.

Sorting it out​​​​​​​​​

In the above scenario, it will depend on where your amp is located which make it hard or easy for you to check the amp. There are several places where the amp is placed; there are those in-line fuses, others are fused at the amp; others have more than one fuse. If the fuse of the amp is the which has blown off, it could be the reason why your car stereo speakers are unable to produce any sound.

A broken wire could be the reason as to why there is no sound coming from the car speakers. It could be that where they pass through the door is cut off and thus no sound rather than just sound to one speaker. If the sound is on and off when you open and close the door, that could be the problem, and you are better off checking it out and sorting immediately to continue enjoying entertainment from your car stereo.

2. Car Radio Refusing To Turn On

If one day you start your car stereo and refuses to turn on completely, it could be a problem related to ground or power. Start by checking out all the fuses and in case you find one that is blown, replace it and then drive for a while to see if it will blow again. If it blows again, then know that you are having a short in your car and you should check it out.

Because this could be complex, you are better off taking it to your technician for a thorough check.You might be tempted to fix the fuse using a heavy duty one, but this might be dangerous. It is best to make a diagnosis and find out what could be causing the short – it might be something serious that could lead to your car burning into ashes. Having a test light or a voltmeter can come in handy as it will help you to do an emergency on your car by testing the ground and power where the fuse is placed and also where your car stereo is located to find out if you can locate the problem before embarking on your journey to visit a technician.

It is important to note that, having corroded or loose grounds can cause the complicated issue that could cause a total failure. Get it checked out before you decide to replace your head unit as a simple clean up might sort the problem out. If both the ground and power are good, and the head unit still doesn’t work, it is probably toasted.

3. Only The Radio Not Working

If the car radio is the only thing that doesn’t work, but you can still listen to MP3 players, CDs, and other audio sources, the problem could be related to the antenna or the tuner. That will mean that you need to buy a new head unit in case of a problematic tuner, or an antenna adjustment if the problem is the antenna.

What Could Cause Antenna Issues?

An antenna that is corroded or loose can be the cause unavailability of reception of none at all. With this, you can either replace it with a new one or do a thorough clean. If you are in a new locality and there are some stations that you are unable to access, then adjusting the antenna or buying an antenna booster can sort the problem of weak signals.

Manually retractable whips can also cause car antenna issues. Check out if your car has been retracted when cleaning the car or where you parked it. You can diagnose this by climbing back, and the car stereo will be unable to turn on.


Some car stereos can receive station sparingly depending on how strong and proximity the strength is and with a retracted whip, but others will completely go off, and you won’t be able to tune in at all. So evaluate your car stereo and get to know if it is something you can do yourself to fix, or you need a technician.

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Tamara - May 27, 2018

Question: What can cause a sub and radio to turn off after 30 minutes? Is this an issue with the sub itself?


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